BERIT BROGAARD'S BLOG

Three Affective Qualities that Keep Relationships Together
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Three Affective Qualities that Keep Relationships Together

There are three affective qualities that need to be present and visible for a relationship to last, namely admiration, respect and trust. 1. Admiration: If you are going to share a major part of your life with another person, the other person must have some lasting qualities that you truly admire. It is less important what exactly these admirable qualities are. If the admiration is genuine, it will show in your attitude towards them. They will feel admired. Feeling admired feels great. They will want to stick around.

Why are first impressions so important?
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Why are first impressions so important?

As you take the dog out for a walk, you come across your new neighbor walking his dog. He is attractive, smart and single. You stop for a brief chat. Unfortunately, it’s not your lucky day. You have just been laid off from work and haven’t had a shower for almost two days, your hair looks like you just got out of bed, and you smell like old garlic. “I don’t normally look this way … or smell this way”, you say without thinking. “What?”, Hottie says, “Oh… that’s OK”

Are we attracted to people who look like us?
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Are we attracted to people who look like us?

According to researchers reporting in the July 28, 2010 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, we are attracted to people who resemble our parents or ourselves. In one study subjects were shown pictures of strangers which were preceded by a short glimpse of either their opposite-sex parent or a stranger. Subjects exposed to a short glimpse of their parent before being exposed to the target picture were more likely to assign higher ratings of attractiveness to the person in the target picture.

Q&A: Can you die from a broken heart?
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Q&A: Can you die from a broken heart?

Dear Dr. Brit and Catherine, Can you die from a broken heart? "Ava" (not her real name)   Dear “Ava”, Thank you for your note. That’s a very good question. The short answer is “yes”. You can indeed die from a broken heart. During a difficult breakup, the sudden death of a loved one or any other heartbreaking event, negative emotions take over our bodies.

Q&A: Grief After Breakup
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Q&A: Grief After Breakup

Dear Brit and Catherine, I just went through a breakup. I was a mess, the only sites that could really help were sites for people who are grieving. Even though they were grieving a death, what they said really helped me. I know you can’t compare breakups to someone dying, but I wonder if a breakup could still cause grief? “Mary Ann” (not her real name) Dear “Mary Ann”

Q&A: Can I Change Someone with an Avoidant Attachment Style?
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Q&A: Can I Change Someone with an Avoidant Attachment Style?

Dear Dr. Brit and Catherine Two and a half months ago, a woman broke up with me who happens to have at least five of these. They are 5, 6, 17, 18, 19, and maybe 13 and 1 [see list below]. Potentially even more that I don’t know about. I still care about her just as much as I did when we broke up, and I really wish there was some way I could help her realize how beautiful it is to fully share oneself with a partner. I wouldn’t want that to necessarily be with me, but I feel like she’s missing out on a pretty crucial aspect to her life.

Q&A: How Do I Get Over My Breakup?
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Q&A: How Do I Get Over My Breakup?

Dear Dr. Brit and Catherine, Several months ago a woman broke up with me, and I’m still madly in love with her. Here’s a little background information: I found the way she broke up with me to be very inconsiderate and hurtful, I told her how that felt and asked for her help in dealing with the depression that followed. She refused the help I asked for citing that her privacy is too important (I wanted to know the things she wouldn’t tell me in the relationship). This made her angry enough to not wish to speak with me anymore.

Love and Hate
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Love and Hate

According to an old saying, the opposite of love isn’t hate but indifference. Recent scientific studies show that there is some truth to this claim. The areas of the brain associated with hate are entirely different from those associated with other negative emotions, including fear and sadness. Fear and sadness are significantly correlated with neuronal activation in the subcortical almond-shaped structure known as the “emotional brain” or the “amygdala”.

Make Him Squeeze Something Soft
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Make Him Squeeze Something Soft

How you dress, whether you smile and what you say are among the things that can play a role in determining whether your first date is going to lead to a second date. But there are other more subtle factors that can influence your date’s opinion of you. A recent study led by Michael Slepian from Tuft’s University shows that our assessment of a person as masculine or feminine may be influenced by what we touch while making the assessment.